The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. reported Tuesday that it beat Wall Street forecasts for its fiscal third quarter with earnings of $272.1 million, a 28% increase for the same period in 2014. The New York-based company had net sales of $2.58 billion, up 1%, for the quarter that ended March 31. Net income was $.71 per share while earnings adjusted for non-recurring costs was $.72 per share.

The average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $.51 per share. “We posted an excellent third-quarter performance, exceeding our constant currency sales forecast that, combined with disciplined expense management, we leveraged into sharply higher earnings per share. Compelling product innovations, targeted advertising and marketing investments and selective distribution expansion drove double-digit constant currency sales growth in many of our brands,” said President and CEO, Fabrizio Freda.

Sales in the Americas grew 4% led by strong sales in makeup, luxury and hair care brands, new product introductions and expanded distribution. Sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell 1% with growth in constant currency in all countries. The UK, France, emerging markets – Russia, the Middle East, Turkey, South Africa and Central Europe – generated double-digit gains. Near flat sales were reported for Asia Pacific but increased 5% in constant currency, led by double-digit growth in China, Australia, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines. Lower sales were reported in Japan, and in Hong Kong as political protests continue to curb business. Lauder expects “near-term slower growth” for Hong Kong.

Online sales grew strong and are now 8% of the total business, 12% in developed markets, as the company looks to expand its online presence and business in the future with an eye toward mobile. Fabrizio said, “On-line is driven by Millennials. It is one of the fasting growing parts of our business. Millennials love our products!”

Skin-care net sales fell 3% to $1.1 billion, mostly due to currency headwinds and lower sales of key products launched in 2014. This decline was partially offset by recent launches, such as Beyond Perfecting Foundation and Concealer and Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Makeup, Advanced Night Repair Eye Synchronized Complex II and Re-Nutriv Ultimate Diamond Products from Estée Lauder, the Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Serum and the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, Original Skin from Origins and new launches from upscale brand La Mer.

Makeup sales rose 7% to $1.08 billion thanks to the launch of new products from Clinique and the Tom Ford line and continued growth from Smashbox and by higher demand for Pure Color Envy lipsticks. Fragrance sales fell 3% to $263 million due to lower sales and currency headwinds. There was strength in Michael Kors and the luxury brand Jo Malone London, while Tom Ford recorded strong double-digit sales as the group’s luxury brands sales increased at the same time there was lower investment spending.

Travel retail grew in the high single digits as it benefited from new launches and increased global airline passengers, plus greater distribution.

Fabrizio summed up the quarter, “Our growth this quarter again came from multiple engines, with particular strength in the UK and emerging markets, our luxury and makeup brands, and online, specialty, multi- and free-standing store channels. Confirming the underlying strength of our brands and programs, we generated these outstanding results in the face of challenges in several countries and continued currency headwinds.”

Estée Lauder projects full-year earnings of $2.92 to $2.97 per share, a decrease from its $3.03 to $3.11 per share as previously estimated while estimating 8% to 10% revenue growth in constant currency, up from 7% to 10%. Fabrizio said, “In our fiscal fourth quarter we expect continued strong top-line growth, and plan to increase investment spending to further propel momentum and strengthen our future business.” He went on to explain, “These estimates are adjusted for charges and the effect of the retailer orders accelerated into fiscal 2014 from the roll-out of our Strategic Modernization Initiative. The momentum and agility we have created with the execution of our strategy continues to give us the ability to leverage global opportunities in fast-growing areas of prestige beauty, while managing changing market dynamics.”

Lauder shares, which had increased 10% in the past year, were up nearly 5% for the day in afternoon trading.